Body off classic car onto newer car


#1

so I want to "graft the body of a 1967 nissan a30 onto a 1990 nissan a31 now my main reason for this is because I want to have the independent rear suspension front suspension/steering also the motor/gearbox from the a31 in the older car. I figured it would be easier and least costly to put the body panels onto the other chasis than have subframes and all that welded in. also 1967 a30 has the exact same wheelbase body legth and width dimensions as the a31. what ideas woild people have on this sort of work?


#2

Unless you are a direct descendant of J. Paul Getty you don’t have enough money to do this.


#3

both cars them selves I could obtainf for $1000 each (this is excluding modificationstp running gear, which isnt really part of the question. also this will be a track car so doesnt have ro be legal. the easiest part seems to be mounting the front panels, doors and boot. then sills. then for the roof and rear panels simply a cut and weld. also the a31 is a easy car to do a roll cage and quite iften people gave a tubed rear end, which could help to support the roof and rear panels. ir doesnt seem to be too costly just asking for thoughts and ideas


#4

AS Volvo just stated.
Anything’s possible with enough money.
why money ?
They are so different from each other that someone will need to measure , design , fabricate, install , and prove reliability of all the needed mounts, brackets, supports and reinforcement structure.
None of that exists in packaged parts and will all need to be made to order.


#5

On a unibody car, the body is the chassis, you have no frame and rolling chassis to mount a body on. A track car ? Get real and don’t involve us in your idle daydreams.


#6

Yeah, sorry, this can’t be done. Or more accurately, it can be done but wouldn’t you rather buy the Porsche or two that you could buy with the money you’re gonna have to spend on this thing?

Also, why would you want to put a cherry classic body on a track car? Track cars live a hard life and tend to get damaged. They’re also subject to tech inspection, so if your Frankencar isn’t done properly it won’t be allowed on the track, so you can’t even save money by skimping on the details.


#7

It would probably be more cost effective to reinforce the existing frame and spend the rest of the money you save by not trying this conversion on a decent suspension.


#8

I can see the motivation. Me, I’d like a 1964 1/2 Mustang body with a Corolla suspension, engine, m/t, and drive train myself. I’ve never heard of anyone installing an old body on a new chassis or uni-body before. There must be a reason for that. I’d guess you could get most of what you are looking to get, and maybe a little less work, by installing the newer drive train (engine & tranny) in the older car. That would only leave the suspension & steering to sort out, which you could do over time. There’s probably aftermarket solutions to those problems available in the classic-car network of folks out there. If I was going to take on a project like this myself, I’d probably get a digital subscription to a few magazines like Hot Rod, Practical Classics, and Classics Monthly and look through the indexes and back issues to see if anyone has done something like this before. If you can find an article where they have, that info would be golden and well worth the price of the subscriptions.


#9

Sound s like you’ve got this all worked out. Go right ahead and dive right in. I hope you’ve got loads of time, sheet steel and welding wire.

Post back here after you’ve stripped both vehicles of their body panels and are ready to apply the old to the new and tell us how this worked out. With pictures, please.


#10

I think oldtimer 11 had the most logical response.


#11

I once let myself get talked into grafting a Mazda engine and transmission into a Ford Falcon Ranchero and the fabrication of motor mounts was 8+ hours of labor and I had a lift and support stands to work with. I agree with the rest of you guys. The OP’s project is a bottomless money pit.


#12

What you want to do is a restomod.

This means you adapt the components from the newer vehicle into the older vehicle.

Tester


#13

I just got my newest issue of Mopar Muscle last week and a guy in there did something along those lines. He grafted a '68 Charger body onto a wrecked 2006 Charger SRT8 and turned it into a faux '69 Daytona. The car looks fantastic.

However, this guy is also a NASCAR builder and it took him roughly 3,000 hours to do this along with many hours wrestling the DMV over registration. Odds are your project won’t involve that much time but… ???

It’s mind boggling what he went through to mate everything up.


#14

I’d find it much more fun to improve every part of the OP’s old car that I could. That would be fun to drive, as opposed to a ‘makeup job’ on a new car. And I could tackle one system at a time (brakes, wheels/tires, engine, transmission, suspension, etc, etc…)


#15

If I read the post correctly the OP has not even bought the vehicles yet ( 1000.00 each he says) . I would not choose either one for a track day car. If those are the actual vehicle pictures he posted they look to be worth more than 1000 each.


#16

True. He must like it a lot. Put the budget for his original project into a restomod of the old one, should turn out nice.


#17

That Johnny Cash song, One Piece at a Time comes to mind. 'Spose if you’ve got an extra $100,000 not doing anything, why not?


#18

Odds are what would happen is that someone would be left sitting in the middle of 2 piles of gutted car parts and after much frustration would be left wondering why they even bothered. The “to do” list would be a mile long.


#19

I have seen ads selling kit cars and found $thousands in kit pieces and salvage parts scattered on garage floors that looked like scenes from Hoarders with a disgusted wife looking on and a frustrated husband hoping to get back some of the money that had been spent on the “dream car.” All the semi-completed kit cars that I have seen in drivable condition had passed through several hands before seeing the open road.


#20

Good point. Pretty much anything’s possible in car restorations like this as long as the parts you need are available and you’ve got the resources to purchase the labor for everything you are not able to do yourself.

Reminds me of this month’s “Hot Rod to the Rescue” installment. The custom restored '71 Dodge Challenger had developed a vibration that got worse the faster it goes. 6 years of owner-attempts to fix it proved futile. Hot Rod’s got to the bottom of it of course. The solution involved about $2500 in parts & specialist labor including a custom built drive-line with CV joint, repaired clutch, new rear extension bushing, resurfaced flywheel, repaired tranny input shaft & bearing, new tranny mounts, and a lot more of un-billed non-specialist labor to get it all installed & the bell housing to line up properly. But eventually it got solved.